Keep Your Hands Off me

Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate

It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe. 

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation. 

Domestic violence

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, reach out. There is help available.

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Signs that you are in an abusive relationship

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To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship. 

Do you:

  • Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • Feel that you cant do anything right for your partner?
  • Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • Wonder if you're the one who is crazy?
  • Feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Does your partner:

  • Humiliate or yell at you?
  • Criticize you and put you down?
  • Treat you so badly that you're embarrassed for your friends and family to see?
  • Blame you for their own abusive behavior?
  • See you as property or a sex object rather than as a person?
  • Have a bad or unpredictable temper?
  • Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
  • Act excessively jealous or possessive?
  • Control where you go and what you do?
  • Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • Consistently check up on you?

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)